The Crosswind Compromise

Its not what the vision is. It’s what the vision does.

If you are flying a plane destination A to destination B, where do you think the pilot points the plane? Do they aim directly at their destination B?

No. Any cross wind will push the plane off course. It will end up somewhere else. Any headwind will slow him down and require more fuel. Any tail wind will push him along quicker and require less fuel.

There are many crosswinds in life and work. Our moods, office politics and ability to name a few.

So when we do set a goal, why do we aim for the destination and expect to get there?

By the time these crosswinds have buffeted any particular initiative, the outcome is at best misleading and at worst disappointing.

What crosswinds are blowing in your organisation and which way are they blowing?

Aim high. Push the boundaries. Expect better.

The inspiration for this metaphor comes from this post on Brain Pickings, and in particular the video of Viktor Frankl.

The example of pilot navigation is close to my own heart. Thinking of the crosswind metaphor, being able to identify it, and to call it out is important and necessary. It all boils down to one word.


Context is everything.